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To Pose or Not to Pose

“I don’t want my photos to look posed.” is a phrase I hear often. Great! Some of my favorite and most dynamic portraits are unposed.

Unposed portraits have gained popularity in recent years. In fact, most of my sessions are a combination of posed and unposed portraits. When reviewing the portrait gallery after a session, oftentimes the unposed photos are the real standouts as they capture my subjects in a genuine way doing something that is comfortable for them. Unposed portraits should be natural and relaxed, capturing the moment as though the camera were not present. Action driven details bring your images to life over and over again.

Unposed sessions are perfect for any genre of photography.

Kids Photography

Unposed photography is the ideal way to capture the beauty and authenticity of childhood. Make sure your children are well rested and that they’re comfortable in both their clothing and their surroundings. Patience is key during this type of session but this is when the magic happens. Bringing along a favorite snack, toy or book won’t hurt either.

Believe it or not, the most successful photos often happen when we let the kids lead the session. It’s all about making it a magical and spirited time where there is lots to take in. Sitting back and capturing those honest moments will ensure beautiful images that you’ll love for decades.

High School Senior Photography

Senior portraits are the perfect time to capture the essence of who someone is through unposed photography. High school seniors typically have many interests including sports, music, dance, hiking, ranching, etc. Their portraits should represent who they are and where they came from, and an unposed session is the perfect portrait style to accomplish this!

Couples Photography

Unposed photography naturally lends itself to couples portraits and is a fabulous style for engagement photo sessions. True to life, couples in love, enjoying one another's company makes for stunning photos. Couples laughing, dancing, having a picnic, or going for a stroll are the perfect activities to capture real life interactions.

Family Photography

There is nothing quite like having the family together. The laughing, games and memories are truly something to treasure. An unposed photography session is the perfect excuse to get your family together and capture spending quality time with each other. Capturing moments between siblings or grandparents and grandchildren are photos you can treasure for years to come. Have someone tell a funny family story and enjoy laughing together - I know I will enjoy capturing it for you!

If you still have questions about an unposed session or would like to get a session booked, I would love to hear from you.


Award-winning portrait photographer Shannon Edney's photos have been featured on multiple magazine covers with photos published in print and digital advertisements around the world. Based out of Missoula, Montana, Shannon specializes in portrait photography showcasing people, dogs, and horses (all breeds, with a focus on the Arabian horse). Shannon is known for her ability to catch the perfect expression and capture her subjects in unique lighting, resulting in portraits rich in artistry that will be treasured for years to come.

Please contact Shannon for schedule, availability and pricing.